The role and importance of turbomolecular pumps in plasma etching machines

In today's semiconductor manufacturing industry, plasma etcher and turbomolecular pump are two important key technologies. A plasma etcher is an essential tool in the fabrication of microelectronic components, while a turbomolecular pump is designed for high vacuum and high pumping speed. In this article, we discuss the role and importance of turbomolecular pumps in plasma etchers.

1. Working principle of plasma etching machine
2. Working principle of turbomolecular pump
3. Application of turbomolecular pump in plasma etching machine
4. Advantages and limitations of turbomolecular pumps
5. Conclusion

1. Working principle of plasma etching machine:
A plasma etcher is a tool for processing materials by using plasma in a vacuum chamber. Plasma is a collection of charged particles produced by gas ionization. The density and direction of motion of plasma can be controlled by high-frequency electric or magnetic fields. During plasma etching, a plasma strikes the surface of the working material and lifts it off or erodes it, creating the desired structure.

However, a large amount of exhaust gas is generated during plasma etching. These exhaust gases include working materials and impurities in the gas, etc., which need to be discharged through the vacuum system. Therefore, the plasma etching machine needs an efficient vacuum system to ensure the stability and accuracy of the etching process.

plasma etching machines

2. Working principle of turbomolecular pump:
Turbomolecular pumps are one of the most commonly used high pumping speed pumps in vacuum systems. It works by spinning a set of high-speed rotating impellers to pump the gas out of the vacuum chamber and expel the gas into the atmosphere. In a turbomolecular pump, gas first enters a backing pump where it is compressed into a high-pressure region before being sent to the turbomolecular pump.

In a turbomolecular pump, the gas is pumped through a rotating impeller, while in a molecular pump the gas is broken down into smaller molecules. Turbomolecular pumps can provide high vacuum, and their pumping speed can reach 500~6000 L/s. For plasma etching machines that require high vacuum, turbomolecular pumps are an indispensable part.

semiconductor parts

3. Application of turbomolecular pump in plasma etching machine:
Turbomolecular pumps are widely used in plasma etching machines. In the vacuum system of a plasma etching machine, a turbomolecular pump is usually used as the main pump to help achieve high vacuum. When the plasma hits the surface, it produces a large amount of exhaust gas, including residual raw materials and chemical reaction products. These exhaust gases need to be pumped out of the vacuum chamber quickly and efficiently to ensure the stability and reliability of the plasma etching process.

The high pumping speed and high vacuum of turbomolecular pumps make them ideal pumps. In a plasma etcher, the turbomolecular pump is usually placed in a separate pump unit for easy control of vacuum and pressure. At the same time, in order to protect the turbomolecular pump, it is necessary to install a layer of mechanical pump and a pressure reducing valve in front of the turbomolecular pump to avoid excessive pressure and damage to the turbomolecular pump.

4. Advantages and limitations of turbomolecular pumps:
Turbomolecular pumps have many advantages, such as high pumping speed, high vacuum, low noise, and high reliability. The high pumping speed of the turbomolecular pump can increase the vacuum degree, and at the same time can reduce the pumping time, thereby increasing the production efficiency. The low noise and high reliability of the turbomolecular pump is also one of its advantages, which means that the turbomolecular pump can maintain efficient operation for a longer period of time, reducing the number of maintenance and replacement.

However, turbomolecular pumps also have some limitations, such as low pumping efficiency for certain gases. For example, turbomolecular pumps have low extraction efficiency for hydrogen, and turbomolecular pumps also have certain requirements for gas pressure and temperature. Therefore, in practical applications, it is necessary to select the type and working parameters of the turbomolecular pump according to the specific situation to ensure its normal and efficient operation.


In the semiconductor manufacturing process, the plasma etching machine is one of the very important equipment. In the vacuum system of the plasma etching machine, the turbomolecular pump, as the main pump, plays a vital role in achieving high vacuum and stable plasma etching process. Turbomolecular pumps have high pumping speed, high vacuum, low noise and optimization to meet higher technical requirements.

Generally speaking, the role of the turbomolecular pump in the plasma etching machine is irreplaceable. In the semiconductor manufacturing industry, the turbomolecular pump has become one of the necessary equipment, which plays an important role in ensuring the performance and stability of the plasma etching machine. With the continuous development and progress of semiconductor technology, the demand and scope of use of turbomolecular pumps will continue to expand. Therefore, turbomolecular pump manufacturers need to continuously improve product performance and quality to meet the semiconductor manufacturing industry's demand for higher performance and more stable equipment.

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Post time: Oct-20-2023